About Us

The Agile Strategy Lab brings together pioneers in the fields of agile strategy and leadership, as well as collaboration science. The need has never been greater. Our organizations, our nations, and our planet faces extraordinary challenges. It’s no longer enough to fix old systems – instead, we need to create “what’s next.”

What are agile strategy and leadership?

Simply put, agile strategy and leadership are the essential action-oriented levers for change for organizations of any scope and size. Strategy - determining where we are going and how we will get there - determines the trajectory. Agile leadership is the ability of those in a group - not the individual "hero" leader - to guide the organization in pursuing strategy, with a focus on organizational learning and adjustments as circumstances warrant. 

What is collaboration science?

Collaborative science brings together a number of disciplines and approaches, including design thinking, agile, innovation science, lean, social labs, asset-based development, appreciative inquiry, and collective impact. Each of these has tremendous value in specific situations and begs a larger question: how can people work together effectively in a rapidly-changing world?

What does the Agile Strategy Lab do?

From our base in the Sanders College of Business & Technology, we develop and deploy a suite of tools for individuals, teams, organizations, and communities seeking new approaches to complex challenges (see this description of the tools). Involvement with the Agile Strategy Lab can take many forms, and can span anywhere from a few hours to a years-long partnership: enrolling in a course or profession development workshop; including a learning opportunity in a retreat, conference or convention; using one of Lab's assessment tools to better understand your team, organization, or community; bringing us in a consulting role to augment your organization's staff; or tapping our research base to identify emerging knowledge.

What is the Lab's history?

The story really begins about a decade earlier, when the core of the team joined forces at Purdue University. Originally part of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, we primarily assisted Indiana communities and regions to tackle issues of economic, community and workforce development. As the work grew far beyond Indiana or economic development, we had a number of collaborations with the University of North Alabama. UNA was developing a national reputation for its work in the region and beyond as they nurtured a vibrant technology innovation ecosystem in the Shoals area of the state. In 2020, we made that partnership more official, with the Director and Associate Director moving from Purdue to UNA and officially launching the Lab.

What we’re working on (a sample)

  • State workforce systems
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • The opioid crisis
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Long-term care systems
  • Food innovation
  • Technology management
  • Local government reform
  • Engineering education

What’s the connection of the Lab to Strategic Doing?

Many people first came to know our work through UNA Lab director Ed Morrison’s development of Strategic Doing, a discipline to structure collaborative work. Strategic Doing remains one of the signature offerings of the Network, but is complemented by a wide variety of other tools. Learn more about Strategic Doing.